When Christians talk about sex and marriage they usually jump right to the requirements. Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church. Wives submit to your husbands—and on goes the sermon about how this plays out in ACTION. The wall of division between the sexes seems to grow, rather than fall, when these passages are preached. Neither side leaves content that the preacher has explained the duties of their spouse thoroughly enough. We head home with an extra measure of shame for ourselves and guilt for our spouse.Read the rest.
This is the point where the gospel steps in and detonates a nuclear bomb on all of our misconceptions of marriage. The gospel doesn’t just apply to marriage. Marriage is the ultimate illustration of what the gospel is. Christ is the second husband! Ephesians 5:31-32 says this: For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh (and by “one flesh” he means the sexual union and all that entails). This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.” Let that profound mystery sink in for a minute. Two people becoming one flesh is an illustration of Christ and His church!
We miss the real pleasure of the marriage bed because we miss the profound mystery of Christ and His bride. He doesn’t command us to get over ourselves, take off our clothes and be vulnerable with each other in a merely physical act. He has removed our shame so that we can! When shame is removed, the result is an eagerness for this kind of vulnerability. When selfishness is removed, it becomes safe, and therefore pleasurable for both parties. It is only through His grace, we get glimpses of the Garden of Eden. He has taken our shame on Himself and given us His righteousness as our covering.
Our measly little marriages are only a shadow of the true marriage that is to come. When our marriages here disappoint us, it causes us to yearn for our eternal marriage that will never disappoint. The Lord does not shy away from the subject of sex. In fact it is front and center as an illustration of the intimacy of Himself and His bride. Here’s where it gets good.